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Sudden aggression!

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by MrsM, 8/2/18.

  1. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    I have an African Grey parrot she's about 26 years old. She was wild caught and also had been severely abused when we got her about 9 years ago. She is semi tame, will get on my finger only if she flies or falls off her playstand, she's out of her cage all day only usually goes into her cage at night. After I wheel her into the room where she sleeps she gets all mushy and lets me scratch her head and plays with my finger with her tongue, we've had this routine for several years but this is the only time I can touch her.
    For the past four days she's let me stroke her head for about a minute then she suddenly attacks and bites. I don't believe it's hormonal because we've been through that, she's even laid eggs and at those times she's very affectionate even allowing me to pet her while she was sitting on her eggs.
    Nothing has changed so I don't understand why this sudden aggression, she even has a little squeak she makes if she thinks I haven't petted her long enough, she's doing that now but when I go in there she's ready to attack doing a little war dance.
    Does anyone have any ideas what brought this on and how I can correct it.
     
  2. TikiMyn

    TikiMyn Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Could she be in pain? Maybe not as she ‘lures you in’ but I can’t Think if a lot else. Change in hair Maybe?
    Hope you can figure out why she does it!
     
  3. metalstitcher

    metalstitcher Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue

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    Did you change anything like glasses or hair color or anything along those lines like @TikiMyn suggested? Parrots are not fans of big change or even a little change. The only reason I guess I got away with chopping my hair off was that unbeknownst to me my bird is losing her eye sight. I'm a little faded to her now. Last time omg she about skinned me alive for cutting my hair.
     
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  4. msplantladi

    msplantladi Sprinting down the street

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    If you are for sure its nothing medically wrong which is what I always try to rule out first. Birds have good days and bad days just like us. Try less food in dish and hand feeding, that way she NEEDS you .
     
  5. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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  6. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    I don't think she's in pain or ill because she's singing, talking and eating well. She seems to want me to go to her to be petted by making her special little squeak but when I go to her she sometimes allows me one touch then attacks. I'm not over stimulating her, I thought perhaps it was a territorial thing because she always goes to one corner of the cage to be petted or hangs upside down so I blocked off that corner which seemed to confuse her but eventually she came to another part of the cage and still attacked me. I feel sad because she enjoyed our smooch sessions so much, she would stay there as long as I would stroke and scratch her and it's the only time in the day she would allow herself to be touched. We've had this same routine for several years so I just can't understand the change.
     
  7. WendyN

    WendyN Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    :bump4:
     
  8. msplantladi

    msplantladi Sprinting down the street

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    Let her come to you..you can hold a treat out for her and say something like "come see me"-just do the treat thing for awhile-that way you are asking nothing from her-I have to do that w/ my military sometimes. Also I use avi-calm in their water when they get grouchy. Its all natural and you can't over do. Takes a couple days to kick in but it does work along w/ a low energy diet.
     
  9. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    How do you react when she bites? If you make 'fun' noises... that may be all there is to it. She may think it's a fun game. As for how to deal with it, don't really have much to offer that hasn't been already. Calm and quiet is all you can really do. I wouldn't block off her usual corner; if that's where she usually goes to receive affection, blocking it off is more likely to encourage the aggression, not prevent it.
     
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  10. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    She will take a treat from me that's never been a problem. I've never heard of avi calm I'll have to try that, thank you for the suggestion. I just don't understand why after all these years she's suddenly started to attack me.
     
  11. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    When she bites I say NO and look at her very sternly I don't shout but it's always a vicious bite I end up bleeding, she has nipped at me if I've accidently touched her foot when she hanging upside down to be stroked but these are vicious bites. I've given her access to her corner again because she seemed confused. For a couple of nights she came to be petted, put her head down to be scratched and we had no biting then last night she was hanging upside down and I was stroking her head, her eyes were closed and she was turning her head this way and that depending on where she wanted to be scratched then suddenly wham I got bitten, she changed in just a second. Tonight she came to be stroked so I stroked her for just a minute then said good night and she just sat there looking at me but I didn't want to keep going until the biting started. I'm just very confused since she obviously wants to be affectionate but changes in a second and really bites hard.
     
  12. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    Try to pay really close attention to where your fingers are when the bites happen? If it's in the same place, she may have some kind of small sort spot/injury or even an incoming pinfeather or something.

    I would try (if you can) cutting out even the 'no'. Just turn away that instant. (Of course, this only works if she actually wants the interaction.) You can also try redirection/deflection, such as using a cuttlebone as a 'shield', though that is more for regular, sustained attacks than single sniping bites.

    Could it have to do with insufficient sleep from the summer hours, perhaps? Try putting her to bed earlier and see if that helps?

    (Obv., just tossing out any ideas I can think of that might end up helping.)
     
  13. msplantladi

    msplantladi Sprinting down the street

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    Yes so agree on the sleep....very important.
     
  14. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    She does want the interaction because she makes her squeak noise which she only does at night and means I'm waiting here to be stroked if I don't go to her immediately she does it again. She does have some pinfeathers coming in and I've always been stroking her head when she does this, I try not to get too far on her neck because I don't want to overstimulate her.
    She goes to bed at the same time every night, I wheel her cage into another room so she has dark and quiet. Nothing has changed we've been doing this routine for years now.
    I'm puzzled.
     
  15. Feathered up

    Feathered up Sprinting down the street

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    It honestly sounds hormonal or pain related. As they age, their bodies produce different levels of hormones just like ours do and reactions can and will change. Try petting her witha chopstick or small dowel and see if you can for sure pin point a problem spot without losing a digit to rule out pain.

    But in all honesty it sounds like a female playing hard to get with a male. If it continues, a trip to the vet is in order. Also, I’d closely inspect food and make sure you didn’t get a bad batch of something. Check around for beak marks on anything that could be questionable as well.
     
  16. greys4u

    greys4u Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    Valentine has a routine we go thru every night, cuddles, etc. When she starts biting at the back of my neck I know she is ready for nite-nite. Birds are funny, you never know what they are thinking. Yes, they can have bad days and get grumpy or maybe its her age.
     
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  17. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    It's so frustrating sometimes trying to help over a forum, not being able to see or interact with the bird. :-/ Do you have a good avian vet who wouldn't charge an arm and a leg for a quick 'looksee' kind of appointment? Sometimes they can spot something that you would never notice. I still think it sounds most like you're hitting something that doesn't feel good. Maybe it's just the pinnies?
     
  18. analliecat

    analliecat Strolling the yard

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    i would suggest bring her to the vet. ruling out medical problems first will help a great deal before tackling behavioural issues. birds are masters at hiding illnesses. my jethro was a love when he had his bacterial infection. he was his happy self but suddenly he starting biting me out of nowhere.
     
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  19. MrsM

    MrsM Moving in

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    Thank you for all the suggestions. I've moved her cage into a different room for sleeping since she's very territorial I thought perhaps she was getting shirty about the room she's always slept in. She's just been to the vet a few weeks ago and he said she was fine. I really appreciate everyone trying to help.
     
  20. analliecat

    analliecat Strolling the yard

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    how is she doing? is the aggression still the same?
     

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